Saturday, December 10, 2016

My neighbor's barn

Got a box in the mail from Amazon today.  Not a surprise, I was expecting an order from them.  Included in this shipment was the book "Best-Ever Casseroles".  Problem is I never ordered this recipe book.  Never even looked at recipe books on Amazon.  Decided I should let them know and return it.  I can't just go to the "Returns" tab since it only lets you return things you ordered.  By looking around on the site I did find a spot that said "Return Unordered Items" but when I clicked it I was taken back to the "Returns" tab.  I'll try again later to figure it out but if they make this too difficult, the book is going to be donated to the library.

Thursday, December 08, 2016

Toys and a Tree

 Getting ready for this weekend's Christmas in the Village celebration.  There will be a craft sale, carolers, horse drawn rides, hot soup and cookies served in the town hall,  and Santa Clause will visit the library.  A photographer will be on hand to take free pictures of children w/ Santa. The boy scouts run various free games for children among the book stacks.  The library set up a second display case earlier this year for their permanent displays.  The Friends of the Library group have temporarily removed the permanent items and are showing lots of old toys.  I found the contrast of toy soldiers from WWI and toy soldiers from WWII interesting.  Think it's the knitting club that meets at the library that decided to make a mitten and cap tree.  All of the volunteers have been instructed that if a child checks out a book they may go to the tree and take something off it for themselves.  What a great idea!

Wednesday, December 07, 2016

Antique Christmas ornaments display

Slept in until 5:30 this morning.  Made breakfast, sat on the couch w/ a warm throw and watched "University Place" on TV.  It's a PBS show which features state university lectures on various subjects.  Today's topic was Livestock Handling.  (Almost like being at work.)  This lecturer had done a study on dairy and beef farms to see if there was a correlation between how people rate on the Myers-Briggs compared to how good they are instinctively at handling cattle.  She went through what behavior factors they were looking for in the animals, how "blind" the test was, what kind of tests they did, etc.  Her testing showed people scoring high as Introvert and Thinking on a Myers-Briggs test did better handling animals.  She stressed this only meant that the others might need a bit more training but shouldn't be disqualified from these kind of jobs. The talk was all very interesting but I couldn't agree w/ her conclusions if only for the fact that they ran their tests on less than 20 people.  Too small a sample for this kind of environment.  Still ... interesting that I scored high on both Introvert and Thinking.

Tuesday, December 06, 2016

The swamp between me and the village

Going into work was bad this morning - driving in the dark into wind-blown snow.  The whole car would shake when I was right on the edge of a snowplow track.  However it was my only indicator of where the road should be so I tried to follow it w/o actually touching it.  Not sure which lane (if any) I was usually in but there was no one else on the roads anyway.  When I came into town the speed limit was 45 m/p/h.  Laughed to myself that I'd have to step on it if I wanted to go that fast.  The turn off the state highway onto county roads isn't well marked and I'd missed it before on very foggy mornings - was a bit concerned how I'd find it in this mess. Fortunately, the Grant town hall is right by the turn and because of some local robberies, they now always leave on their outside light.   I'd already realized that under the snow was ice so I slowly crept around that corner.  The next turn was off the county road onto a town road and there was nothing nearby to let me know where it was.   Again, fortune was w/ me because the town had recently installed the new highly reflective road signs so by going slow I was able to find that one too.  Then I relaxed.  I was on the road that led to the dairy and figured close enough to rate the benefit of a tractor pull out of the ditch (just like the night crew yesterday) if need be.

Monday, December 05, 2016

Cattails on the edge of a frozen pond

I'm back at the dairy for a couple of days while Mike's taking some vacation.   As usual I checked how many dump cows in the hospital group - only 3.  Also noticed the SCC (Somatic Cell count) has fallen to below 100.  Looks like Mauricio is fitting in well.  Eric came in and asked if the roads had been plowed yet. I told him  the town roads by the dairy hadn't yet been done.  He asked because the night crew hadn't realized how slippery things were.  Their truck slid on the little bridge spanning Deertail Creek and got stuck in a deep ditch on the other side. Since they were only 1/4 of a mile from the dairy by then they walked the rest of the way.  Eric brought out a tractor, pulled the truck out of the ditch, and cleaned off the bridge himself.  On behalf of the morning crew, I thanked him.

Sunday, December 04, 2016

Gorgeous Gorge

It snowed most of the day.  Indy and I took an early walk in the snow.  I've been watching the ice form on the pond.  There were holes in places when the ice first started.  I thought they might be places where animals had walked across.  Seemed strange though.  Didn't think the ice was thick enough yet to support much and the same holes persisted from day to day. More probably there are multiple spots underneath the pond where warmer water bubbles up.  This morning's phenomena looked interesting. Ice was all over the entire pond but snow only seemed to collect in the middle - leaving a wide margin around the entire outside.  Figured that was because the land around the pond was making the water warm enough that the snow flakes falling there melted rather than remain in their frozen form.   I suppose there is the possibility that the wild critters are sweeping off a large circle to skate on. (Wow, gotta stop watching all those animated Christmas TV specials w/ cutsy little animals.)

Saturday, December 03, 2016

Moss seta

Had errands to do today.  Stopped off at the post office to mail some cards and pick up my mail.  Saw one of the ladies from the Coffee & Conversation group and said hi.  Went into the library to check if the new display was installed. It's a collection that belongs to a highschool classmate of mine.  Then went to pick up something Aunt June needed from the store.  The Christmas bell ringer out front was my vet and his wife (I gave double).  The checkout person was my sister-in-law's sister so we exchanged pleasantries before  I went off to the nursing home to do a quick check-in w/ June.  Decided since I was in town to pick up a few groceries.  Saw the tax assessor there so stopped to gossip for a moment w/ him.  Got a call this afternoon from my neighbor - one of my headlights is out.   I like the Big City's diversity, options, and abundance - however, it's very comforting to live among friends.

Friday, December 02, 2016

Between darkness and light

My friend Nancy and I  drove into the Big City to go to a Christmas Art Fair.  It was held in one of those marvelous old buildings that the city wisely kept and renovated into areas for small businesses. The show took up the main floor and part of the third.  After going through that we stopped off at a hole-in-the-wall place we used to frequent for lunch when we worked downtown.  Back then, a group of us would just walk in, select a table, immediately order a burger and half order of fries.  Since those days the place received an award (or two) for serving the best hamburgers in town and the president has even stopped in for one.  So today we stood in line until we could be seated and then waited awhile longer for the waitress to stop by.  Was worth it though - still the best burgers in town.  We bypassed our planned visit to the Swedish Institute since Nancy felt like she was coming down w/ a cold.  Nice to visit the Big City - nice to come back home.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Turkey tail fungi

Dropped off a library book on Wednesday morning and then joined the Coffee and Conversation group meeting at the back.  Good thing.  Some of the ladies in the group bring in goodies and they make the best stuff I've ever tasted.  The selection that day were scones and thin chocolate bars.  The scones were the delicate melt-in-your-mouth kind that you hear about on those TV shows from England.  The group decided this would be the last C&C meeting for the season.  Those snow birds going south were planning on leaving next week and the older people in town don't like to walk to the library in the cold and snow.  The meeting will start up again in the spring.  At least I got a chance to say goodbye to those leaving for warmer climes.  The others I'll see from time to time over the winter at different get-togethers.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Fishhook cactus flower

My friend Kathy said she had done a couple of load of clothes, baked a pie, emptied the dishwasher, played Words w/ Friends, and answered e-mail.  Her plan for the day was to start working on Christmas cards and "just as w/ studying and homework" she said, she was finding all sorts of other things that had to be done before she started.  I found myself doing the same thing - went grocery shopping, made chili, took the garbage out, cleaned off my desk, took a couple of walks w/ Indy, finished that library book due next week.  We both agreed that we liked receiving cards and even sending cards out.  It's hard though to get started on the project - however it appears to be a great way to get all sorts of other things done around the house!

Monday, November 28, 2016

Foggy November day in the swamp

Stopped over to see Aunt June this morning.  She was up and sitting in the dining area.  I bent over to ask if she wanted to come w/ me.  She squeaked.  The nurse said June had been talking like that since she got up.  The nurse had taken her temp but everything seemed fine.  June's hair had recently been cut short and she looked like a little pixie.  The nurse also apologized that they hadn't found time to get her in to have her hair set since it was cut.  I didn't mention to the nurse that June's hair appointment had been cancelled in deference to my last visit.  Besides, I kinda liked this new look on her.  June, herself, was not in a good mood.   As w/ most of us though, a coffee and donut can work wonders.  By the time I left her, she had mellowed considerably and could even talk a bit in a normal tone.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Candy-coated world

The pastor's sermons are still trucking through Ephesians.  My friend Nancy wondered why he didn't at least mention that it was the beginning of Advent.  Not a big thing for me - growing up I don't remember any references to Advent or Lent in church (took me the longest time to figure out which was which).  Therefore I don't know how one celebrates them either.  Think traditionally one gives up something for Lent and lights a candle for Advent.   What is important to me is this is the last day of gun season.  Tomorrow the woods are mine again!

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Hoar frost on thistle

I woke up this morning to the sound of water splashing.  That's the beauty of having pets.  I wasn't concerned because I knew if I wasn't safe, one or both of them would have let me know.  Plus I chock up any unusual noise in the house to them prowling around.  Out of curiosity (and it was time to get up anyway) I went to check out this sound.  It was quiet now but there were little puddles of wet areas as I walked into my bathroom.   I surveyed the area and I think it went down this way.  In the dark, Ori jumped into the tub.  She sometimes does that in the morning and then meows until I come and turn on the water just enough so she can lap it up.  Unfortunately, I had taken a hot bath last night and forgotten to let the water out.   I went searching for her.  She was sitting in the dining room staring at me as if nothing had happened - wet fur and all.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Savannah Sparrow

Tuesday the dairy said they wouldn't need me for the rest of the week.  By Wednesday that had changed and they asked if I could come in on Friday.   Alejandrina and Mauricio arrived right after I got there this morning.  Mike was taking the day off and Mauricio would be working his job.  Fridays are usually easy days - nothing extra that the milkers have to do.   However, Thursday was "Dia de Accion de Gracias".  The dairy's rule is no extra work on holidays so scrubbing the parlor had been put off til today.  When Eric & Carol came in to check on everything, they asked that I teach Mauricio how to clean the parlor.  It's true he worked at the dairy for years but never on the morning shift.  Mauricio seems to understand English well.  At least I could explain something once and he did exactly what I had said.  He isn't as fluent speaking English.  After we were done I asked him if he would be giving Alejandrina a lift home.  I think his reply was he would.  Just to be sure, I went in where Alejandrina was cleaning up and asked if she would be getting a ride home w/ Mauricio.  I think her reply was yes.  I'm hoping I understood them correctly and didn't just hear what I wanted.